Written by Mesu Andrews
Does it surprise you that historians and biblical scholars alike question the dates of the Exodus? Some choose to place Moses in the mid-1400’s BC while others place him in the mid-1200’s with the famous Pharaoh Ramesses and Queen Nefertiry.
After much wailing and gnashing of teeth, I settled on the Ramesses dating. I mean, who can argue with Cecil B. DeMilles and DreamWorks, right? Perhaps a bit more convincing was the relief (hieroglyphs) in the west wing of the Great Hypostyle Hall (Karnak Temple Complex, Egypt) in which Pharaoh Seti is pictured with a mysterious military officer known only as Mehy.
Though the Egyptians-of-old were meticulous record-keepers, Egyptologists have found no genealogy or historical record regarding Mehy. Even more intriguing—the Hypostyle relief shows Pharaoh Ramesses—Egypt’s longest reigning king—made an attempt to replace Mehy’s image with his own. Why had Ramesses wanted to wipe out the record of Mehy in Egypt?
I believe it was because Ramesses discovered Mehy was Hebrew—and that Hebrew was Moses.
Deeper research uncovered the more precise Exodus dating around 1250 BC. Ramesses ruled Egypt ca.1279-1213 BC. Based on historical accounts of his ascension age, he was approximately fifty-three when the Israelites left Egypt. Exodus 7:7 tells us that Moses was eighty years old when he returned as God’s chosen leader to free the Israelites.
Have Cecil B. DeMilles, DreamWorks, Exodus: Gods and Kings been lying to us about Moses’s best friend? Say it ain’t so! Ramesses and Moses likely would not have been close in age or reared as brothers as the movies depict.
In fact, if Moses was indeed Mehy, Seti’s military officer, it’s more likely that Moses and Seti were the best friends and reared together as brothers. Which could also explain Ramesses’ jealous attempts to replace the mysterious officer’s image from the relief in Hypostyle Hall.
Though neither historical nor biblical records tell us Moses’s Egyptian name, it’s been fun to imagine what Moses’s life might have been like as a true prince of Egypt who was later God’s chosen deliverer. I hope you’ll enjoy the full account of Moses from infancy to the Exodus in my two-book series: The Pharaoh’s Daughter and Miriam.
Visit Mesu Andrews at mesuandrews.com